Senate Committee on Public Information and Mass Media chairperson Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. on Tuesday said Facebook or Meta should explain the suspension of Facebook (FB) accounts of some officials and government offices.
While he did not mention names, presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos’ spokesperson Vic Rodriguez is the latest personality whose account on the said social media platforms was removed.
In his message to reporters, Rodriguez noted that FB/Meta suspended his account because “I am for Bongbong Marcos.”
“This is censorship of the highest degree and interference on a sovereign act,” also said Rodriguez.
Revilla pressed FB/Meta on the basis to stop Rodriguez’s account. He related that even the posting of Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairman Popoy De Vera on free education in the country was not spared censorship by FB/Meta.
According to Revilla, they have been receiving many complains about the indiscriminate removal of FB/Meta accounts for unknown reasons.
“This is suppression of freedom of expression,” emphasized Revilla.
Revilla said they acknowledged the measures taken by FB/Meta against disinformation, bullying, sowing of conflict and terrorism by laying down mechanisms and community standards.
But this time, he says he sees abuses on the part of the social media platform. He said this has been hampering the discharge of functions of high government officials.
“Many are pointing their fingers to FB being involved in partisan politics but I would like to give them the benefit of the doubt,” stressed Revilla.
He said it appeared FB/Meta’s actions were being influenced by politics. “It is alarming that the country’s affairs are being controlled and (is) at the mercy of a private foreign corporation,” he said.
“We cannot allow this. I will seek the platform’s explanation on this, ” further stated the Senator.
Based on the screenshot shared by Rodriguez, FB/Meta said Rodriguez’s account or activities do not follow the community standards of the social networking site.
“If you think we suspended your account by mistake, we can take you through a few steps to disagree with the decision,” read the notice to Rodriguez.
“You have 30 days after we first took action on your account to disagree, or your account will be permanently disabled,” also said the social media platform.
“I will not appeal for I have not violated anything. My duty is to the Filipino people and not to FB/Meta. I will continue communicating with the many other forms of media available that are free from any filter, censorship or manipulation from foreign platform providers,” said Rodriguez.